“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a partridge in a pair tree…”
It wasn’t the normal version of the 12 days of Christmas, and it all began with Judy.
Judy has worked for many years at Byerly’s in Roseville, MN (one of our benefactors), and Judy has been volunteering at Holy Family Residence for just a few months. Every Monday Judy can be found in the Residents’ store awaiting those she can help. However, many days there aren’t any customers and Judy finds herself sitting in the Foyer Jeanne Jugan with the goodies she brings to treat the Residents. While there, she watches the Residents approach the mailboxes for their mail.
A pained look crosses Judy’s face as she sees the Residents leave the mailboxes with no mail. One day, when I noticed the pained look on Judy’s face, I asked her what was wrong, and she commented, “Just sit here and watch for a while. Every time a Resident comes for his/her mail he/she goes away sad because there was no mail.” This made Judy very sad, and she decided to do something special for the Residents during Advent and leading up to Christmas.
“What do you think, Sister?” Judy asked about my giving each Resident a Christmas card for the 12 days of Christmas. “Certainly,” I said, “I am sure it would give the Residents much pleasure.”
So, every Monday Judy and her friend Cindy, who is also a volunteer, worked diligently pasting special seals and signing the cards with names such as “Your special angel” or “Your heavenly angel” or “Secret Santa Claus,” etc. Two weeks into the card-writing, Judy realized she bit off more than she could chew. She decided to take all the materials home and have an evening get-together with her friends to help work on the cards. When the cards were finished, Judy placed them in plastic sealed bags for each of the 12 days.
On December 13 the cards were delivered denoting the first day of Christmas. The following day and days thereafter the cards were delivered until December 24. It made Judy’s heart glad to see the Residents opening their mail boxes and finding a card each day.
The Little Sisters enjoyed the various remarks from the Residents about the cards. They had no idea of their origin and inquired as to who sent them. Mother Maria told the Residents that some angels appear at night and deliver the cards. The excitement and happiness on the faces of the Residents was not only heart-warming, but was also contagious.
On December 22, I delivered cards to Judy at Byerly’s. These cards were written by all the Residents on the second floor unit thanking the “Secret Angel” for the beautiful cards received thus far. As Judy read 2 of the cards, she began to cry. I told her to take the rest home and read them in private. She said, “This has made my Christmas. I am so happy to have done just a little to make the Residents happy.”
12 Days of Christmas